Te Kapua-matotoru was an ancestor who descended from a high line of aristocracy. He was the most celebrated grandson of Tapuwae and Te Huki, the outstanding ancestors of the Ngati-Kahungunu proper, whose histories are recorded in this book. It has been claimed that those who can trace their descent from either of these ancestors are among the aristocracy, while those who cannot thus prove their descent are commoners.
The mother of Te Kapua-matotoru was Te Mata-kaingai-i-te-tihi, meaning "A face to be gazed at as the highest pinnacle." She was the first child of Tapuwae and Te Ruataumata, and was made by her father the greatest and highest of his children (hei tihi, or queen). The father of Te Kapua-matotoru was Purua-aute, the first child of Te Huki and his first wife Te Rangi-tohumare, who was the granddaughter of Te Whati-apiti, the eponymous name of the tribe Ngai-Te Whati-apiti of Heretaunga. Purua-aute, being the first child of Te Huki, was made the greatest and highest of his children, who was chosen to be the husband of Te Mata-kainga-i-te-tihi, the queen daughter of Tapuwae, as has already been related. In furtherance of the prestige given to Purua-aute, he was chosen and made the "Poito whakarewarewa i waenganui o te kupenga a Te Huki" ("Centre float in keeping the net of Te Huki stretched").
By this union Te Kapua-mototoru was the first child and was made the greatest. Mataitai (2) was the next, who begot Ihaka Whaanga, who became the paramount chief of Nuhaka and Te Mahia. Te Kahu-o-te-rangi was the next, who begot Paora Rerepu, the celebrated chief of Mohaka.
Te Kapua-matotoru was born in a pa named Pohonui-o-hine, on the Awamate side of the Wairoa River, opposite Mr. Duff's old homestead behind the Wairoa golf links. Later this pa was removed across the river and was called Whereinga. When Te Kapua-matotoru grew to manhood, he was taken by Manawa (a chief of Ngati-Rakaipaaka), who lived in his pa called Wairoro, near Te Kokohu, Tahaenui.
Te Kapua-matotoro, by his own choice, married a woman of the place named Te Aramoana (a commoner). When a child was born to them, Manawa made the sneering remark, "E Tama, tau wahine e moe ai koe ko te ruruwai na" ("O Son, what a rubbish page 147of a woman you have married"). Te Kapua-matotoru asked, "Kev wheat na?" ("Where is it then?" or "Where is a better?"). Manawa replied, "Ara, tikina i a Te Whewhera, kia waha kai ake ana a Poheke a Potakataka, he upoko no Rakiapaaka" ("There, go and get Te Whewhera, so be justified in Pohehe and Potaka-taka carrying food on their backs, as being superior in birth to Rakai-paaka"), meaning that Te Whewhera, being descended from Hine-manuhiri, who was an elder sister of Rakaipaaka, it would be deemed fit for the Rakaipaaka's descendants to carry foods on their backs for Te Whewhera's issue.
Te Whewhera was already married to a chief named Te Kakari, and had a new-born child. Nevertheless, she was taken away and married to Te Kapua-matotoru. When this was done, the two new-born children were despatched by means of witch-craft. This was done so as to leave no prior issue to this union, thus commencing with the marriage a, clean line of descent.
After this matching the couple were taken back to Wairoa and settled at the pa Whereinga, and also in a pa called Hikawai, near the Maori settlement called Te Mira (Mill), near Frasertown.
The married couple having settled at the above pas, the people of Te Wai-roa and outside districts looked forward to obtaining aristocratic descendants from this union, and on that account they were called Te pareke-reketanga a nga rangatira (Seed-bed of chiefs). It was the human equivalent to stud-breeding.
All places where food was obtainable were reserved as a supply for this union:—Whakapunake Mountain, famous for birds, was worked by the people. Wairau-kereku, at Waikare-moana, was also famous for native pigeons, and Pakitua was placed there as workman to bring in the kereru-tahu (preserved pigeons). Ohuia and Wairau Lakes, famous for eels, were worked by Takapumaro and Te Whakaangiangi. Other reserved areas for food are too numerous to mention here. These food reserves were called Hei wai u mo Te hewhera (To make Te Whewhera's milk flow).page 148
Raeroa (male) was retained at Paeroa, from whom sprung Haenga Pare-tipua, Hori Tupaea, Eru Mete, Pare Kara (Mrs. A. T. Carroll), and others.
These were the children and descendants of Te Kapua-matotoru and Te Whewhera. Wherever they were placed on the East Coast they became paramount chiefs. By tradition these high born people were to keep within their own bounds and succour each other whenever the need arose, and it has been so to this day.